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Springtime in Italian Racing Scene

While the snow masses were still putting a thick blanket over the countryside here in Southern Germany, the Italians organizing the new VPI cup announced a training run at Ottobiano at the end of February.


These are the facts that you should keep in mind about the VPI series:


In 2008 the Italian importer of Stage6 parts organized a brand racing series of its own. Company Ricambio Rapido has its roots in the vintage geared scooter sector. After a successful year 2008 the idea was born to create a separate geared Vespa class for the automatic scooter races.
Not even we would have seriously considered travelling 850 km to Italy just for a training run but, by coincidence, there happened to be the spare parts market at Novegro on the same weekend. Team SIP/Stoffi’s, represented by Michi Pesendorfer and Stoffi, already arrived on Friday morning so there was enough time left to buy some of the overpriced scooters on sale at Novegro. On Saturday around noontime we made the last couple of kilometers to Ottobiano. There already was fair bit of traffic and we seized the opportunity to check out the track on Saturday afternoon with sunny conditions and 15 degrees. For most geared scooter riders Ottobiano is a new track that offers everything from fast sections to a narrow infield. Saturday evening was reserved for lots of tech talk with the organizing team from Ricambio Rapido who stayed in the same hotel as we did. We arrived quite late at the track on Sunday morning. When we finally did, we could not believe what we were seeing: more than 148 competitors squeezed into the crammed paddock and the grandstand was already buzzing with visitors.
In the morning there was only a short warm-up training for the 21 geared scooter riders among us (20 Vespas and 1 Lambretta). The whole thing took off as from noontime with a moderator of its own, lots of journalists, a photographer for the event’s homepage and so on. This event was perfectly organized, a big thumbs up to the organizer!


Contrary to what we know from our latitudes, Vespa races are well accepted here. Every time you hit the track the crowds were cheering and people were constantly patting your back out of sheer joy when you returned to the paddock.
Olaf from Berlin turned out to be the third German-speaking rider. He took a flight to Italy just for the event. Unfortunately, he had a jammed piston after the third training run and it looked as if he would be out for the rest of the day. A small crowd of people gathered around his scooter when suddenly an elderly Italian guy grabbed the piston of his Quattrini and started filing it. The rest of the Italians watched in awe and explained to us that this nice gentleman was Mr Quattrini himself. It is worth mentioning that he was not exactly wearing his workshop clothes at this moment but rather his best Sunday suit. When Olaf’s piston was ready to mount again Mr Quattrini paid us a short visit for a little chat. The chat was held in Italian and English and we also made good use of a little sketch book. At the end, Mr Quattrini handed over a prototype of a new Smallframe cylinder to us, just telling us to make the best of it. Mille grazie, signore Quattrini!
The last training ended at 5pm in the afternoon. We packed our gear instantly and headed back for a long way home. The snow chaos had us back right at the border.
For those of you interested in this race series, all the information can be found at www.scooterracingitaly.com or www.stage6cup.it.  











Eingetragen Mrz 05 2009, 04:09 von Ralf
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